Confession: I kind of want to be a Pinterest mom. But without actually doing a ton of work. Now, I will freely admit that not every mom has a CNC in their garage. But that’s the secret weapon, now isn’t it?
Personally, I use my X-Carve for projects that need an extra dose of awesome sauce, but without the commitment of time that hand cutting would take even if I were capable of the repetitive precision. And what I particularly like about this project is that while it is mostly finished when it comes off of the machine, there are enough little things to do to make sure the little ones have a hand in the end product.
This post is sponsored by Inventables, and the project can be found here. If you are new to the world of CNC…ing be sure to check out their project pages for a whole bunch of great ideas. Of course, while this post is sponsored all ideas, opinions, screw ups, and screw balls are entirely my own.
Here is what you will need to carve these heart boxes. It’s not a long list and most of it is optional. For some of the optional materials I do utilize affiliate links. As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. This disclosure pertains to all the links in this post. You can learn more about affiliate links here.
Lumber – the amount really depends on how many hearts you are carving. To carve the full number of hearts in the file (40) I utilized a 12″ wide board at 1/2″ thick.
Of course, you can just carve them and skip all of the rest of this. It’s up to you.
Step 1: Heart Boxes Board Selection and first carve
This project works best with 1/2″ stock material, otherwise the box ends up awkwardly thick. Soft maple would work terrific for this. I used poplar as I happened to come across a good, wide board.
The first part you will carve is the workpiece noted as “stage 1 carve V-bit” on the Easel file. If you do not need that many hearts simple delete or cover them. This carve utilizes a 60 degree V-bit and will carve the inner part of the bottom section of the box.
Step 2: Cut out the hearts using a 1/8″ straight bit
Switch to the Stage 2 cut on your Easel screen and replace the bit with a 1/8″ straight bit. It is essential that you do not move the machine out of its home position. It will need to start in the same spot in order to cut the hearts out. The hearts will be held in place with two tabs which you will have to cut later.
Step 3: Cut the box top
The top of the heart boxes is cut using a single bit. Switch to the Stage 3 workpiece in Easel. You will need a new board, also 1/2″ thick. The 1/8″ bit stays the same. This heart is sized to fit the bottom half but not be so snug that kids cannot get them apart.
Step 4: Finish the heart boxes as desired
The nice thing about this carve is that you can buff these with a sanding block and pretty well be done with the project straight off of the X-Carve.
We chose to finish these with red wood dye (wear gloves!).
Next, we drilled a hole through each of the heart boxes and tied a little Valentine’s note to it with some ribbon.
We put a little eraser in each heart and that was that.
What do you think?! My kid’s are excited to hand these out to their classmates, and that makes me pretty happy. If you want to kick your V-day gifts up a notch without spending a ton of time, toss these onto the CNC and let it do the work!